A Raman spectroscopic study of the morphological structure of the polyethylenes
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The method described by Strobl and Hagedorn to analyze the Raman spectrum internal modes of semi-crystalline polyethylene has been applied to a set of selected polyethylene samples crystallized under controlled conditions. The crystallite structure can be described in terms of the relative amounts of the crystalline orthorhombic phase, the liquid-like amorphous phase and the interfacial region. The dependence of the level of crystallinity on molecular weight and crystallization conditions is very similar to that found by other methods. However, this method allows for the quantitative determination of the interfacial content which becomes significant for molecular weights greater than about 1×105 for linear polyethylene fractions, and for all the branched samples and copolymers. The degree of crystallinity determined from density measurements is equal to the sum of the crystallinity and interfacial content obtained from the Raman analysis while enthalpy of fusion measurements yield values which are equal to just the crystallinity content. The difference between the level of crystallinity obtained from density and enthalpy of fusion is thus found to be primarily due to interfacial contributions.
Key wordsCrystallization interface internal mode Raman morphology
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